Great images. So sorry, it has nevered opened again.
Great images. So sorry, it has nevered opened again.
Thanks for posting this I showed it to my sister as it was her favorite thing to see at Disneyland when we were children. Haveing grown up in Anaheim your web site brings back many fond memorys of my childhood trips to the happiest place on earth.
My last visit inside the Castle was January 2000...there's proof right there of how much of an effect it had on the Disneyland experience, I can actually remember the last time I visited it. It was already looking really old and shoddy though, the "magic light" thing that was supposed to attract rose was so dusty and filthy it barely even lit up anymore.
I love the Yesterland column, not just because it's an intense trip down memory lane that opens up memories that have long been forgotten, but also because it teaches me stuff I never even thought to ask. Being born in 1979, I naturally assume that what I saw as a kid is what everyone else saw previously as well. I simply had no idea that what I saw was a brand new version of it and that I never really saw the real version.
You can read all you want about history, but there's ALWAYS some minor little facts that slip through the cracks if you weren't around to experience them personally. I mean I know this because I know about stuff from the 80's and 90's that today's kids would have no clue about. Disneyland is filled with tons of minor, but significant, details that history books just aren't going to cover. But thankfully Yesterland is here to fill them in! :)
I remember we went in Feb 2000 and there were a couple of CM's standing outside the enterance for the walk thru asking people to go through because the it was in danger of being closed down. We went thru as many times as our legs allowed us too and thankfully I video taped each scene.
When we went back in May 2004 it was closed.
I'm sad to see there isn't much hope of it re-opening. I always enjoyed walking thru there.
Is the Sleeping Beauty window I saw last time in the Anaheim Emporium from the original walk-through? For something about 50 years old, it looked pretty good- especially the way Briar Rose's hair was molded. It looked like some sort of foam latex and matched the film's design in a way a wig can't.
Since neither version now exists, the fact that today we might well prefer the look of the original is just so much water under the bridge anyway.
A little more on Sleeping Beauty Castle:
I'll first give a short run down on some of the reasons that Disney wanted to leak out to the public through the cast members:
1) Terrorism / Security
4) Costly to Upkeep / Low Attendance
Above are four reasons cast members have given for its closing. Although many have already been addressed, I will debunk each of these. (I've done my research. My life was dedicated to getting the Castle back open for a while there.)
1) Terrorism/Security - The gift shops inside the castle and the areas just beyond the drawbridge are just as easy to plant/hide an explosive device. Disney has wanted to close the attraction down for years (They almost did in the early 1990s, but there was major protest, so they decided to keep it open.) and they used the September 11th attacks as a scapegoat, or rather, one of their scapegoats. Cinderella Castle (in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom) is at greater risk for a terrorist attack, since Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is the world's most visited theme park. It would be much easier to cause damage to Cinderella Castle with its many unattended rooms and its restaurant (compete with restrooms). The difference between Sleeping Beauty Castle and Cinderella Castle is that Cinderella Castle makes a lot of money, whereas Sleeping Beauty Castle does not If Disney cared about the security of its Castles, it would have closed Cinderella Castle at the same time as Sleeping Beauty Castle.
2) Handicap Accessibility - The Castle is grandfathered. It doesn't need to comply with ADA rules. Very few attractions at Disneyland are totally ADA compliant, but most don't need to be because of their ages.
3) Asbestos is a relatively new rumor. As Mr. Weiss stated, Asbestos is not a problem if it is behind the walls or under the floor. Most attractions and buildings at Disneyland would have asbestos because of their age. That's no reason to close a building. Every house, but one, that I have lived in has had asbestos. Every school I attended had asbestos. It's not a problem if you don’t lift up the carpets or bash through the walls and take a big whiff of it.
4) Cost - Disney's most outrageous "leaked" claim yet. The Castle cost virtually nothing to run. It required dusting and minor repair once in a while, but Disney didn’t' even do that, so it virtually cost them nothing except the hourly wage of the cast member that had to unlock the doors and turn on the electricity.
Sadly, Disney's reason number 4 is most likely the reason they closed the attraction, no matter how outrageous the statement. Disney executives never really cared for Sleeping Beauty Castle. They felt that it didn't warrant being in operation because of the attendance numbers. They didn't provide upkeep to the Castle at all for some years. (In 2000, they just boarded up the dragon scene after part of it stopped working.) They let the Castle go into a state of "disrepair". Disney's then-definition of "disrepair" was something that took a lot of time and effort to fix for what they saw as no reason. It was easy enough to clean up the dust and change out some of the lights, but Disney felt it was far too costly to do that in Disney's eyes. That is the reason we no longer have a Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough.
It's a crying shame too. This attraction was so important to so many guests. Every time I go to Disneyland, I hear at least ten people ask about it on any given day in Fantasyland or around the Castle. I suggest that a MAJOR Writing campaign be initiated to bring the attraction back. If you truly want to be able to walk inside the Castle again, please write to Disney and tell them. If someone could provide an address where letters go beyond the lower positions in customer service, that would be great. I hope some day Sleeping Beauty Castle will awaken again. It is one unique experience that didn't deserve to be put to sleep. Disney fans and casual guests alike loved the attraction and to this day, they still talk about it. Even if Disney were to re-do the walkthrough with a new Sleeping Beauty attraction, that would be welcome.
* As a side note: Just make sure they don't make OUR castle some cheap "Disney Princess" attraction. Sleeping Beauty Castle represents everything Disney is about: the magic, imagination, and mystery that stirs the mind of every child, and child-at-heart, male and female, young and old. If Disney were to make Sleeping Beauty Castle a "Princess"-marketing gimmick, I would much rather have it stay closed. Bring back Aurora, Phillip, Maleficent, the Fairies, the Goons, and most importantly, the Dragon.
Until it re-opens, we should hope and pray that some miracle happens and the higher-ups at Disney find it in their hearts to bring it back. Write... Write... Write...
But I can't say for sure. Wasn't born when the walkthrough was replaced and all...
When I went in 1992 (when Iw a 12-the last time I saw it open) there was NO ONE else in it or anywhere near by--I think few really knew it existed. I found it charming but I didn't especially care for the plumper figures... Are there online pictures of the original windows? I knwo E Ticket had a great feature back in the 90s about the original "Trolls tricks" things like a barrel you'd look in and see milliosn of eyes reflected, etc that were all shut down by the 60s or 70s I believe.
Also is there a good site of all the various MainS treet emporium windows in the past?
Werner, just read Al's update today and I think you just might have been a little too hasty in writing this article.
Okay... I'm calmer now...
YIPEE! YAY! WOOT! WOOT! (There is no smiley that accurately depicts my happiness.)
Maybe we'll get the "21st century take on the 1957 original Eyvind Earle version of the attraction" that Al Lutz described. Maybe we won't.
I hope that this "tentative plan" will eventually become a reality—but, for now, it's just something that Al heard about, presumably from an internal source. And. at this stage, that means it's a rumor.
If it happens, Al can add this one to his long list of Disneyland "scoops."
If it never happens, it doesn't mean that Al was wrong about a "tentative plan." It would just mean that the plan was not approved for some reason.